Part of the Bay Area News Group

Turbin worth a look if Bush walks

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, February 27th, 2012 at 8:54 am in Oakland Raiders.

Note: Meant to post this yesterday before signing off for a week but was derailed by a Southwest Airlines WiFi that was slower then the early days of dial-up . . .

The vibe I’m getting is that the Raiders have zero intention of franchising leading rusher Michael Bush, given their commitment to a normal salary structure and the presence of strong safety Tyvon Branch also as an unrestricted free agent. Coach Dennis Allen has talked up Darren McFadden, which means he’s the feature back, and there’s no way the Raiders commit more than $7 million to a complementary back.

And that’s probably what Bush is. He did an admirable job taking over when McFadden’s mid-foot sprain derailed his season, with one of the best games any Raiders’ running back (Marcus, Bo, Napoleon Kaufman, you name it) has ever had again the San Diego Chargers. While it’s conceivable Bush numbers tailed off toward the end of the season because the Raiders became more predictable or the line wasn’t blocking as well, the fact is it happened.

So maybe it’s possible other teams see this during the free agency period and Bush comes back at a reasonable price if there is no big bounty to be had. Usually, however, one of 31 teams will ante up.

If so, keep the name Robert Turbin in mind. He was the subject of my Monday story in Bay Area News Group papers and is a Bay Area product who has flown under the radar after helping two institutions without much of a reputation for football success into winners. He did it at Fremont’s Irvington High School, a perennial also-ran which won a league title and in consecutive years advanced to the North Coast Section finals and semifinals.

Turbin did it at Utah State, which went 7-6 in his junior year _ the first winning season for the school since 1993. After missing the previous season with a torn ACL, Turbin was the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year after rushing for 1,517 yards and 19 touchdowns. Check him out on YouTube and you’ll find him leveling some tacklers and breaking into the open field and finishing some long runs as well. He can catch out of the backfield or downfield. He can block, and at 5-foot-10, 220 pounds has been called the best built back in the draft outside of Alabama’s Trent Richardson.

His high school coach, Bob Spain, called coaching Turbin a “once in a lifetime” experience and said, “he’s what happens when genetics meets work ethic.”

Despite his breakaway runs, which indicates he is faster on game day than in a track setup, Turbin’s 40-yard dash time was a concern. It’s not any longer, as he ran a respectable 4.5 flat at the combine. Whether that puts Turbin out of reach for the Raiders remains to be seen. They’ll pick No. 97 at the earliest after supplemental picks are awarded at the NFL owner’s meetings next month.

If Bush moves on, it seems awfully risky to leave their running game in the hands of McFadden and Taiwan Jones, given their recent injury history. As Allen noted, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp has gotten a lot of yards out of a lot of different runners with different styles.

Turbin is confident _ “A lot of people compare me to Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson” _ without being cocky. He’s engaging and earnest, a player Spain said never took a day off and lifted the play of everyone around him. He was such a devastating defensive player in high school he was the MVAL defensive player of the year as a junior and Spain advised him to take a scholarship offer to Boise State to be a safety. That means he’d probably be a beast on special teams, a role Turbin said he would love.

The NFL is full of mid-round running backs who flourish in the right system. Keep in mind Bush was a fourth-round pick because of a severely broken ankle at Louisville.

Turbin could end up being that kind of story for somebody.

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  • RWX

    Raider O Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Dakota,

    The NFL is switching their equipment from Reebok to Nike next year (contract expired). I heard that DMAC prefers Nike, but was not allowed to ware them due to the NFL’s contract with Reebok.
    =========================
    Good one.
    Changing your shoe brand isn’t going to make a player less brittle.

  • HayesDaze37

    O — That is never the case. Players wear the shoes they want…if there is an endorsement/contract issue, they must tape-over or otherwise cover the unauthorized logo on their equipment.

  • M Lonetree

    Dakota,

    it just means that McF’s next walking boot will have a swoosh on it.

  • Gdog

    Gdog — You’re telling us what most of us already know: a good 1-2 punch is what the Raiders had with Nip Kaufman playing that complimentary role.
    >>>>

    I want it to be 1-2-3. The number one guy is either a late round draftee, or a FA. Just a “body” to absorb punishment like Wheatley did.

    The 2-3 will be McF and TJones rotation, as they have similar skill sets.

    Bush is toast. Too expensive.

  • DKnight007

    I wouldn’t be surprised to be Turbin available at the end of Round 3 or middle of Round 4.

    Chubby McK should be able to find another solid RB to replace Bush in Rounds 3, 4 or 5….without any problem IMO.

  • RWX

    You ever wonder what Mark Davis does all day?
    Drives into the complex, and parks in Al’s spot.
    Walks in, and gets a cup of coffee, and waits for the people that used to snicker at him say good morning to him.
    And then goes in Al’s office and closes the door.

    Dollars to donuts he has an Xbox and a PS3 in there.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I have to agree with DMAC. I prefer Nike too. I injured my ankles a few times while wearing Reebok. Not much ankle and foot support IMO.

  • DKnight007

    Only way Bush stays is if they can work out a 3 year deal with him that is cap friendly and doesn’t overpay him.

    I’m hoping that happens, but I doubt it.

    There is no way McK will give Bush 7.2 million for one year.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    it just means that McF’s next walking boot will have a swoosh on it.
    $$$$$$$$$$
    LMAO
    That is funny.
    Still LMAO

  • RWX

    Man, this is going to be a boring offseason.
    So used to having a high pick available was fun wondering who we should take, or will be avail.
    Now it’s who’s going to still be around in 98th place.
    Whoopie.

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    RWX Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    You ever wonder what Mark Davis does all day?
    Drives into the complex, and parks in Al’s spot.
    Walks in, and gets a cup of coffee, and waits for the people that used to snicker at him say good morning to him.
    And then goes in Al’s office and closes the door.

    Dollars to donuts he has an Xbox and a PS3 in there.

    =====================================

    Even if your fanciful scenario were true: You would prefer he make football decisions even though, by his own admission, he doesn’t have that kind of football knowledge?

    No thanks. We don’t need a Dan Snyder as our owner.

  • SilverAndBlackBleeder

    Big Mack will likely offer something like a 4yr deal to Bush around the range of $5M a year for the first two years and load up the back end to $7-8M for the last two years, and re-evaluate him when he’s due for that pay raise in two years. It’ll be up to Bush though ’cause there are definitely a few teams who will offer him a 3 year deal between $21-24M or something like that.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    HD37,

    That’s what I heard, but I don’t know if that’s true. Also, I don’t know anything about the NFL equipment rules (other than players have to wear their team issued uniforms and certain color shoes).

  • RWX

    http://​www.raidernationstation.com/

    I don’t want to hear how bad this board sucks. It’s my friends board, and is dying a slow death. At some point soon will have to put up a RIP attachment.

    And I admit it. I’m here just to try and scrounge some people for over there.
    So what?

  • DMAC

    I thought DMAC wore adidas in college?

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    Raider O Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    HD37,

    That’s what I heard, but I don’t know if that’s true. Also, I don’t know anything about the NFL equipment rules (other than players have to wear their team issued uniforms and certain color shoes).

    ============================================

    A certain number of players (I think 5) per team are allowed to just wear whatever shoes they want.

    Other players can wear any brand of shoe they want, BUT if it’s not the brand the league has a deal with, they have to hide that fact. This is why some players have tape wrapped around their shoes and ankles (in addition to providing support, of course).

  • RWX

    RaiderDuck Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    RWX Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    You ever wonder what Mark Davis does all day?
    Drives into the complex, and parks in Al’s spot.
    Walks in, and gets a cup of coffee, and waits for the people that used to snicker at him say good morning to him.
    And then goes in Al’s office and closes the door.

    Dollars to donuts he has an Xbox and a PS3 in there.

    =====================================

    Even if your fanciful scenario were true: You would prefer he make football decisions even though, by his own admission, he doesn’t have that kind of football knowledge?

    No thanks. We don’t need a Dan Snyder as our owner.
    ===============================
    Not at all. I think he should stick to playing Wii with Robby the Rhino.

    Just surprises me seeing posters like RRS say how the combo of Mark, Mac, and Dennis excite him so much when all of the three are rookies, and haven’t done anything yet.

  • HayesDaze37

    MBush will likely get a 4-year, $16-20 million deal, with $10-13 million guaranteed in the first 2-years.

    Wish we could keep him…but not very likely at those prices.

    Lunch!

  • DMAC
  • DMAC
  • DMAC

    Bring back the Adidas!!!

  • Dakota

    Trade McFadden! Trade McFadden!

    We need picks! Whaaaaaaaaaah we need picks!

    We need picks so I have something to watch during the draft!!

    Who cares if the picks are nothing more than gambles?

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!

    Fking idiots. Thank god Reggie is smarter than all of you.

  • RaiderRockstar

    hopefully Reggie Mc has the scouting division out turning over rocks, rummaging through bushes and combing the hinterlands for the next Chris Ivory, Pierre Thomas, Jonathan Starks, Ryan Grant or even Arian Foster. No need to spend big money on an RB, just find one who can and is willing to play.

    ***

    LOL @ M. Agreed

  • Dakota

    Trade McFadden goes right up there with “Cable is Madden-like”, “Routt is better than Nnamdi” and “Fargas is a great RB” as some of the stupidest things ever mentioned on the board.

  • DMAC

    Peace out ya’ll. (I’m ghost)
    Go A’s!
    Go Dubs!
    Go Cal Bears!
    Go Raiders!

  • bcz24

    196.Raider O Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:10 pm
    Dakota,

    The NFL is switching their equipment from Reebok to Nike next year (contract expired). I heard that DMAC prefers Nike, but was not allowed to ware them due to the NFL’s contract with Reebok.
    *****************
    Reggie Bush is allowed to wear Adidas cleats. The uniform policy does allow for players to wear different shows, but they have to apply to the NFL for permission. Although DMac was denied permission by the league to use a black shield in his facemask after the orbital injury, and I see players wear that all the time, and they are banned by the league now. (Players who wore them before they were banned were grandfathered in to be able to continue)

  • RaiderRockstar

    trade ROMAC for a walking boot with a swoosh on it !!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    A certain number of players (I think 5) per team are allowed to just wear whatever shoes they want.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$
    Any color too?
    I remember P Manning being fined for wearing Black to owner Johnny U.

  • YoungAmerican

    Who cares if the picks are nothing more than gambles?

    ————

    Relying on McFadden to produce on the field is a gamble. And it’s not even a safe bet, considering the nature of the injuries he’s had thus far in his career.

    The chances of a second round pick being a solid contributor are higher than the chances of McFadden playing for an entire season.

  • RaiderRockstar

    BBL

  • Dakota

    TTFN

  • M Lonetree

    Rockstar,

    That’s the spirit!

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    Raider O Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    A certain number of players (I think 5) per team are allowed to just wear whatever shoes they want.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$
    Any color too?
    I remember P Manning being fined for wearing Black to owner Johnny U.

    ============================================

    There are restrictions on color, as well. Methinks the league goes overboard.

  • RWX

    Dakota Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Trade McFadden goes right up there with “Cable is Madden-like”, “Routt is better than Nnamdi” and “Fargas is a great RB” as some of the stupidest things ever mentioned on the board.
    =============================
    Oakglenn/Seymour Bush: “Russell is a bonified NFL qb” deserves a mention.

  • Dakota

    229.YoungAmerican Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:31 pm
    Who cares if the picks are nothing more than gambles?

    ————

    Relying on McFadden to produce on the field is a gamble. And it’s not even a safe bet, considering the nature of the injuries he’s had thus far in his career.

    The chances of a second round pick being a solid contributor are higher than the chances of McFadden playing for an entire season.

    +++++++++++++

    You don’t give up on young superstars for “solid contributors” this early on.

  • bcz24

    228.Raider O Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:31 pm
    A certain number of players (I think 5) per team are allowed to just wear whatever shoes they want.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$
    Any color too?
    I remember P Manning being fined for wearing Black to owner Johnny U.
    ****************
    They have specific colors they are allowed to wear. The penalty for deviation is severe. Earl Bennett was fined $5000 for his orange shoes, and the NFL told him if he wore them again the fine would be doubled, and if he wore them a third game he wouldn’t be allowed to play in the game.

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    If we trade DMAC, he gets 2,000 or more all-purpose yards and the player we draft with his pick has the rookie blues, we’ll be kicking ourselves.

    If we keep DMAC and he’s gimpy for half the year and finishes with 600 yards, we’ll be kicking ourselves as well.

    It’s a gamble either war.

  • bcz24

    You don’t give up on young superstars for “solid contributors” this early on.
    ***************
    They are the same people that would say Fire Reggie on here when we trade McFadden and he has a 2000 yard season

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Bcz,

    So, did DMAC ask the league for permission, and was he denied?

  • SilverAndBlackBleeder

    224.Dakota Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:28 pm
    Trade McFadden goes right up there with “Cable is Madden-like”, “Routt is better than Nnamdi” and “Fargas is a great RB” as some of the stupidest things ever mentioned on the board.

    —————-

    Hahaha….Cable is Madden-like…classic….

    Trade McFadden as crazy as it sounds isn’t as dumb as those though. Trading McFadden after visibly witnessing the fact the guy is getting injuries that appear to be the result of his foundation not being able to hold up to the powerful motor within his legs. Even you the biggest McFadden kisser of all kissers has to admit that the idea cannot be simply ignored. Even in saying all of that; I hope dude is a Raider until he retires. We’re actually blessed in an ironic way that he got hurt again ’cause if he would’ve kept up the pace he started this year, he might’ve been crying for a pay raise a la the running back formerly known as CJ2K

  • raiderjhawk

    We ain’t gettin’ Turbin, he’ll go in the second. I’d love to have him though!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    They have specific colors they are allowed to wear.
    $$$$$$
    That’s what I thought. Thx.

  • Marks hair

    Bush is gone. But its the easiest pos to replace..

  • Dakota

    If we keep DMAC and he’s gimpy for half the year and finishes with 600 yards, we’ll be kicking ourselves as well.

    It’s a gamble either war.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    If we keep McFadden we win big. If we trade him after some injury issues and watch him get healthy and play big for someone else (ala C. Woodson) then we lose big.

    This is a no-brainer, and it appears Reggie and D. Allen agree with me.

    So the rest of you McFadden haters can go bite a big one. You bandwagon cheerleaders!

  • LBRAIDERS

    Whoever thinks we should trade Mcfaddin you’re a bunch of idiots!!

  • raiderjhawk

    Dakota Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:25 pm
    Trade McFadden! Trade McFadden!

    We need picks! Whaaaaaaaaaah we need picks!

    We need picks so I have something to watch during the draft!!

    Who cares if the picks are nothing more than gambles?

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!

    Fking idiots. Thank god Reggie is smarter than all of you.
    ———————————————
    Best post of the day!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    There are restrictions on color, as well. Methinks the league goes overboard.
    $$$$$$$$$$
    I agree. As Chad 85 would say, it’s the No Fun League!

  • Dakota

    I may have to start a new list…..

  • YoungAmerican

    They are the same people that would say Fire Reggie on here when we trade McFadden and he has a 2000 yard season

    ———————-

    No, I wouldn’t, even if that did somehow happen. The Raiders have many needs, and a part-time superstar running back isn’t one of them.

    And “young superstars” are on the field, contributing in games that matter.

  • bcz24

    239.Raider O Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:37 pm
    Bcz,

    So, did DMAC ask the league for permission, and was he denied?
    ********************
    I don’t know if he ever asked for permission to wear different shoes. I have to think they would allow it, maybe Al told him no for some reason? Maybe the shoes don’t matter to him as much as we think? No idea

    I do know he asked permission to wear a black tinted visor on his mask after the orbital fracture last season and his request was denied… or maybe it was approved and he just decided not to wear it. I know he requested permission, but I never saw him wear one.